2000 Year Old Man

2000 Year Old Man

The 2000 Year Old Man is a persona in a comedy skit, originally created by Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner in 1961. Mel Brooks played the oldest man in the world, interviewed by Carl Reiner in a series of comedy routines that appeared on television, as well as being made into a collection of records. In a Jewish accent, Brooks would improvise answers to topics such as the earliest known language (‘basic Rock’). The inspiration for the skit was a tape-recorded exchange between Brooks and Reiner at a party. The tape recorder was brought into the mix shortly after the opening salvos, as the two comics soon had the party audience in stitches.

In 1961, when the duo began doing the skit on television, Brooks had just undergone surgery for gout. Because of his post-surgical discomfort, Brooks quipped, ‘I feel like a 2000-year-old man,’ which led Reiner to begin questioning him about what it’s like to be a 2000-year-old man and to describe history as Brooks saw it. Many of the jokes (especially the caveman jokes) were eventually brought to the screen in Brooks’ film ‘History of the World, Part I.’

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